- - Monday, June 20, 2011

PERU

Peruvians want Humala to govern like Lula

LIMA — A new poll finds far more Peruvians want President-elect Ollanta Humala to govern like the center-left former president of Brazil rather than leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The poll by the firm Ipsos-Apoyo says 61 percent of Peruvians prefer that Mr. Humala model his government after former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Only 11 percent said Mr. Humala’s government should resemble that of Mr. Chavez, while 28 percent didn’t specify.

The poll also found Peruvians identify corruption, public safety, drug trafficking and terrorism as the top concerns Mr. Humala should address.

Mr. Humala had allied himself with Mr. Chavez during his failed 2006 run for the presidency but portrayed himself as closer to Mr. Lula da Silva during his June 5 triumph at the polls.

BRAZIL

Police raid Rio slum to secure stadium

RIO DE JANEIRO — Police raided another slum dominated by drug-trafficking gangs in an ongoing program to bring peace to areas near Maracana stadium ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Photographers and cameramen on the scene Sunday reported hundreds of police officers and troops invading the Mangueira shantytown, backed by helicopters and several armored vehicles.

Rio state public security Director Jose Beltrame said in a television news conference that police had taken control of the slum without exchange of gunfire.

Seventeen other shantytowns already have been pacified by security forces taking over the city’s poor communities.

Maracana will host the World Cup final and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.

BRAZIL

Police aid farmers facing threats in Amazon

SAO PAULO — Members of Brazil’s national police force are protecting the families of small farmers who are receiving death threats after a series of killings apparently linked to the conflict about land and logging in the Amazon.

Brazil’s official government news service said the police escorted four adults and five children from their homes over the weekend and were keeping them in a secure undisclosed location.

The Agencia Brasil said that among those receiving protection is the sister of a rubber tapper fatally shot last month.

Four other people involved in land disputes have been killed in recent weeks, including a landless activist shot in the head less than a week ago.

The police were recently sent to the region to help local law enforcement.

MEXICO

Tourism ministry applauds new flight routes

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s tourism ministry said new flight routes from Europe and Latin America will boost tourism and nudge the country away from its reliance on U.S. visitors.

The secretary of tourism said airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Aeromexico, Spanish airline Air Europa, Brazil’s TAM and Chile’s LAN are initiating new routes in Mexico this summer.

The additional routes include Gatwick-Cancun, Lima-Cancun and Sao Paulo-Mexico City.

Mexico has been pushing to diversify its tourism industry in order to depend less on visitors from the United States.

The tourism agency said that Mexico received 888,769 visitors by air in April, a gain of 3.9 percent compared with the same month a year ago.

CHILE

Volcano shows less activity

SANTIAGO — The Chilean government said a volcano in southern Chile that began erupting about two weeks ago is becoming less active. That will allow 4,000 people who were evacuated near the volcano to return home.

The cloud of ash had soared 7.5 miles over the Andean mountain range but has since shrunk to a quarter that size.

The ash is still floating around the world and spurred the suspension Sunday of flights in South Africa. The eruption had suspended flights in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Australia and New Zealand.

Silicate crystals and gases in the volcanic cloud can damage airplane equipment such as speed and altitude sensors, and stall jet engines.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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